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Lichen Sclerosus

TragerMD & Trager MediSpa

Pediatrician & Adolescent Medicine Physician located in Great Neck, NY

Lichen sclerosus can be difficult to manage if you don’t have a qualified and compassionate physician to guide your treatment. Dr. Jonathan Trager of  TragerMD & Trager MediSpa in Great Neck, New York, is one of fewer than 20 board-certified pediatric dermatologists in New York state. He is also certified in pediatrics, adolescent medicine, and adult dermatology. Dr. Trager is an expert physician and authority in the medical community on the treatment of lichen sclerosus.

Lichen Sclerosus Q & A

What is lichen sclerosus?

Lichen sclerosus is a skin disease that primarily affects the genital area. Although it can occur in males, it most frequently affects young girls before they enter puberty or women after they’ve experienced menopause. When it affects children, it is called pediatric lichen sclerosus, and with girls, it’s centered around the skin of the vulva, which is the area around the vagina. 

Pediatricians commonly diagnose lichen sclerosus of the vulva in girls during routine medical exams. It is often a distressing diagnosis for parents and children who have never heard of this disease. Because Dr. Trager is an expert at diagnosing and treating pediatric and adolescent vulvar lichen sclerosus, he helps families understand and manage the condition effectively and compassionately.

What are the symptoms of lichen sclerosus?

Some patients do not experience symptoms even if they have the disease, but most often, lichen sclerosus symptoms include:

  • Vulvar itching and soreness
  • Painful urination
  • Constipation
  • Inflamed, irritated vaginal and anal areas
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Bleeding
  • Lightening of skin around the vaginal area
  • Small tears or bruises in the skin

How is lichen sclerosus diagnosed?

An experienced pediatrician can usually diagnose lichen sclerosus with a careful medical exam that includes the child’s vaginal skin, vulva, and anus. A genital exam is a typical part of a routine pediatric checkup. The exam does not require or include an internal pelvic exam as a gynecological examination does.

A visual inspection for symptoms is usually enough to diagnose the disease so treatment can begin right away. If there is concern that a bacterial, fungal, or viral infection may be present and contributing to the uncomfortable symptoms, Dr. Trager may take a culture by gently swabbing the area with a saline solution.

Does treating lichen sclerosus involve surgery?

Lichen sclerosus does not require any type of surgical procedure. Prescription topical steroid cream is one of the most effective treatments for lichen sclerosus. This method usually provides dramatic relief from pain and discomfort as the healing process begins. Treated early, this disease is manageable and does not have long-term negative effects on a girl’s future health and well-being.

If you or your daughter experience any of the symptoms of this condition, or if you would like to speak with an expert in the field of pediatric lichen sclerosus, call Dr. Trager’s office or schedule an appointment online.